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MegadriveMan

What's gone wrong defensively? 

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Only three clean sheets in our last sixteen competitive games. A total of twenty seven goals conceded. Do we need to have a major rethink defensively? What do people think is going wrong?

 

Results below;

 

West Ham- conceded two

Watford - conceded three

Chelsea -conceded two

Bournemouth - conceded one

Atletico Madrid - conceded three (extra time)

Everton - Clean sheet

Palace - Clean sheet

Man City - conceded four

Villa - Clean sheet

Brighton - conceded one

Burnley -conceded one

Arsenal - conceded two

Chelsea - conceded three

Newcastle- conceded one

Arsenal - conceded one

Leeds - conceded three 

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Its not just the defence we are too open when we lose the ball. Fabinho's loss of form and not playing for most of yesterday surely contributed. Keita isn't useless in the press, far from it but he's a bit lightweight overall. Hendo not being fully match fit was a problem. 

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Personally, I dont think anything has gone wrong except for lack of concentration and oppos adapting their game. There's no Lovren to blame and I hope there's no billy bigbollocks creeping in.

 

I keep see Gomez to blame for goals yet it was Virgil that caused the goal in 25 seconds at Newcastle and a dreadful attempt last night for the Leeds second. On a couple of goals Ive honestly though allison should have done better. Neco was the cause of Arsenal's goal in the Community Shield but he's an inexperienced lad at this level.

 

All that might be harsh but when the bar is set high, anything below is a fail.

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4 minutes ago, dockers_strike said:

All that might be harsh but when the bar is set high, anything below is a fail.

Yeah i get that. We've been playing at an insanely high level for about 2 years, a drop off was inevitable.  

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Nothing - yet.

Of those fixtures, 7 were after we had won the league and are irrelevant. 2 of the 3 clean sheets highlighted were when there was actually something to play for after the restart (Palace; Everton). It shows we are there - when there is something to play for.

 

The 2 most recent results (Arsenal; Leeds) were either friendlies or with a half fit team (Trent; Henderson; no Fabinho).

 

Chelsea & Atletico were squarely at Adrian's feet -- Atletico particuarly didn't have a look in until his immense fuck up. Watford, well, we know what happened there ..

 

The picture is skewed by the circumstances. See where we are in October.

 

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I'm only really worried about the cover/ injuries, not the personnel, and think we will sort it out sooner than later.

Jordy has a salient point that we have been playing Keita more in the games noted in MM's op, so I am not particularly surprised that the games are not locked down as tightly.

On top of this 

- Games since lockdown have had a whiff of five a side to them and I would note the two clean sheets were when the league was still in the balance

- TAA has been out or not fully fit for some of the latest games and Williams is obviously not at that level yet

- There has been barely any pre season.

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Gomez has lacked some confidence and VVD has been far too casual. Trent looks goosed or just not fit. They'll be fine. They're too good not to turn it around. 

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Mix of our playing style, lack of concentration and some bad communication. And vs teams like Leeds that likes to press high and counter attack it was pretty evident we got to improve a lot if we don't want to drop points this season. Early on still and I'm sure this will improve as we get a bit further on this season.

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Combination of factors.

 

Teams focus on our right hand side; either runners down that flank in exposed space, or swinging crosses towards the area between Gomez and TAA. We'd be even worse without Salah, whose defensive work often goes unnoticed.

 

Trent's young, and has run himself absolutely ragged over a couple of seasons. His positional sense was never the best, but he had the legs to make up for it. With a slight drop off, it exposes Gomez more.

 

Gomez has many positive attributes, but he can be enticed out of position much like Lovren was. Yesterday was a particular example. Leeds would ping the ball towards a forward with his back to goal forty odd yards out, and Gomez would leave VVD's line and look to engage. The player was never going to turn with the ball, instead looking to play it back then run off the defender; it's designed to lure someone out. 

 

With our fullbacks so high, we're frequently left with VVD as the deepest player, and all the pressure on him to stay cool. At times he tries too hard, and mistakes creep in.

 

Ideally our midfield cover those holes, but there's been a drop off there too. Coupled with us trying to find a slightly different dynamic to it, that can accommodate more forward runs from the likes of Keita or even Henderson, and the holes become more apparent in their frequency.

 

A lot of this can just be put down to a team that's been highly wound for two seasons finally winning the biggest prize. What should have been their off season was instead an interminable wait to find out if all their endeavours - inches from making history - would be voided without another ball being kicked.

 

There's a reason no side has maintained the standard of near 100 points for three seasons though. Cracks appear when you demand absurdly high standards continually, which is why a decent transfer or two to freshen things up and keep some players on their toes wouldn't go amiss.

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Just finding our balance, we had a year of rock and roll football where we were scoring for fun but also leaving ourselves exposed at the back. 

A year of being spot on defensively but possibly slightly too conservative going forwards, being a single goal away from winning the league in any of the games we dropped points was shit.

Now we're in between where we're conceding a few but also scoring enough to get the points. 

 

Can't read too much into it though, half the games were after we'd won the league and like Klopp mentioned yesterday it was our first game back after a shortened pre season where our defenders most recent matches were across 3 different international teams all of which are shit compared to us. 

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When we get Tiago in (sign him, FSG, you cunts) he’ll assist with those little foot-ins he does so well to take the ball off the opposition.

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I think it's lack of concentration. My worry is when that'll come back as I'm thinking perhaps some of these fellas need a crowd to be top of their game. Both vvd and alisson have been sloppy and maybe made more mistakes in this calendar year than the rest of their time at the club. 

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8 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

I think it's lack of concentration. My worry is when that'll come back as I'm thinking perhaps some of these fellas need a crowd to be top of their game. Both vvd and alisson have been sloppy and maybe made more mistakes in this calendar year than the rest of their time at the club. 

We are not a side that can "control" games as much as Klopp likes to talk about. Going flat out at 100% is where we look good. Difficult to do that over and over again especially behind closed doors.

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Gomez followed the player out in the first half once and then they scored not long after where he was in position but just didn’t make the tackle.  So that obviously then means he kept doing it all game even though he didn’t.  They played a type of football we very rarely come up against and the players were left one on one and sometimes even outnumbered. Due to it being the first game of the season and some players coming back from injury we were predictably all over the place at times.

 

I find it funny that sky and other places are saying Van Dijk was rubbish and giving him a 4/10.  He saved a couple of certain goals himself.  He obviously gifted them a goal but it wasn’t him being done by some piece of skill.  He played a very risky pass in a situation he tends to do a lot and it works.  It cost us a goal but it doesn’t suddenly equal a bad game.  He also scored two perfectly good goals.  Then you’ve got their players getting higher ratings than ours even though we had about 20 chances and they conceded 4 themselves and only scored 3 goals from 3 shots on target.  Our biggest problem was having the triangle of Trent Gomez and Keita together.  Each one being less good defensively than their counterpart on the other side which just adds a bit more pressure to each of the players and you could see it.

 

Gomez is a still very young for a centre back and is a very good player who is only going to get better.

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8 minutes ago, TheHowieLama said:

We are not a side that can "control" games as much as Klopp likes to talk about. Going flat out at 100% is where we look good. Difficult to do that over and over again especially behind closed doors.

I would have agreed with you before last season.  We were up there with the best there’s ever been closing out games and not letting the opposition in.

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15 minutes ago, TheHowieLama said:

We are not a side that can "control" games as much as Klopp likes to talk about. Going flat out at 100% is where we look good. Difficult to do that over and over again especially behind closed doors.

That's very much part of it, the us not being able to control games part. If the pressing isn't top notch and we're not winning the ball back right away over and over, it's not super hard for teams to break on us. The full backs are up the pitch and our CB's are 1v1 a lot, and when that happens often, even with defenders of van Dijk's quality and Gomez' pace, they'll eventually get burned. In those scenarios we're very vulnerable to balls over the top. 

 

Thiago would help tremendously with our defending just from the standpoint that we'd be able to keep the ball better. The defensive lapses to me actually lay bare that the midfield is easily the most improvable part of the team. 

 

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We often look wide open. There have been loads of near misses and we probably should have conceded more. Similarly, there's loads of missed chances of our own. Look at the Manchester City game the other month - we should have scored 3 or 4 of our own. The misses put pressure on the defence, and vice versa. 

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5 minutes ago, Gnasher said:

Lol

 

I've never forgotten how great Hypia was. He doesn't get mentioned all that much but what a defender he was. Not up with the true greats like Jockey and Van Dijk but a hell of a player. 

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I'm concerned about a few things based on yesterday. First of all, if we're going to play a high line, it has to actually be a line. Too many times Gomez had pushed forward to follow an opponent into midfield and left a big gap next to Van Dijk for someone to run into. That's fine if it's a plan and the full backs are prepared to tuck in to cover, but it wasn't and they didn't. On the occasions Leeds built up out wide instead Gomez would do the opposite and drop two or three yards deeper than Van Dijk, playing people onside who should have been off. Their third goal saw this happening, Gomez is inside our penalty area while Van Dijk is on the edge, and that gave the Leeds player a ton of leeway to time his run.

 

Second the midfield and Trent at the moment do not seem to work hard enough when their press is beaten. Keita is the absolute worst offender for this and has been throughout his time at Liverpool, I actually rate him very highly and want to see him be a bigger part of this side but fucking hell he does himself no favours at all with his lack of effort running back towards his own goal. Henderson and Trent didn't look fit yesterday so can be excused but it needs to improve a lot very quickly if we don't want to come unstuck against Chelsea.

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